The battle will continue in the Manawatu hockey leagues for the Whanganui men and women's teams with action kicking off for both this weekend at home.

The TCOB men have a mix of youthful skills and a few experienced heads scattered in to guide them this year, but the season didn't appear it even start.

Last year's coach stepped down and confirmed numbers were looking grim and it was uncertain that TCOB would even enter in the Hockey Manawatu Division 1 competition for the first time.

However, player Chad Warner said a but a few senior players stepped up and took the helm, with the team responding well to the direction being taken.

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This was highlighted in a pre-season match against the highly talked about Levin-based MCOB, where TCOB came away with a well-earned 2-1 victory.

"We have even managed to poach a couple of Marist players from Manawatu, including a top young keeper," Warner said.

Last year the men finished just out of the semi-finals in fifth.

Meanwhile, the combined Whanganui women's team will step down a grade after a less than memorable season in Manawatu division 1 last winter.

The women will play in Manawatu division 2 this season with the first match at Gonville Domain at 3pm on Saturday. The men also play on the Gonville turf kicking off at 1.30pm.